The Surge: The Good, the Bad, and the Augmented Review – Wild West, Wild Implants
The Surge: The Good, the Bad, and the AugmentedOctober 2nd, 2018
The Surge was definitely a welcome surprise for fans of From Software's Soul series. While the game developed by Deck13 is clearly inspired by the Japanese series, the team made every possible effort to offer something slightly different, efforts that definitely paid off. Following the release of the main game, The Surge has been expanded with the A Walk in the Park DLC, which offered a decisively different atmosphere and more challenges. Another expansion has been released recently, called The Good, the Bad, and the Augmented, an expansion which is a must-buy for those who have loved The Surge, but it's hard to recommend to all those who played the game.
The Surge: The Good, the Bad, and the Augmented sees main character Warren continue its exploration of the CREO facility and enter an abandoned Quality Assurance lab created by Head of Q.A. Dr. Rischboter, also known as The Supervisor. This new testing area has been modeled after an Old West theme, as Dr. Ricschboter is completely obsessed by it, so much that he even addresses players like a bad guy from spaghetti western movies. By exploring the different chambers and collecting audio logs, players will understand how off the rail the doctor has gone with his obsession and how the took advantage of what CREO has unleashed to make his fantasies reality.
The Surge: The Good, the Bad, and the Augmented offers little in the story department. Dr. Rischboter is an entertaining character, but he hardly feels like a villain, as players have no contact with him. His backstory is crazy enough, but it's hard to take it seriously. Like the A Walk in the Park DLC, The Good, the Bad, and the Augmented doesn't expand the main tale or the game's world in any significant way.
The Good, the Bad, and the Augmented gameplay is definitely the expansion's stand-out feature, but also the most divisive: players will either love it or hate it to death. Doing away with the main game's exploration mechanics, The Good, the Bad, and the Augmented features a brand new hub area, which can be accessed almost at the beginning of the game while in New Game Plus and later one during a regular New Game, to prevent balancing issues, from where it's possible to access 9 different episodes. Each episode has the same structure: two stages that have to be completed without dying and a final boss. The mini-stages are interesting enough the first few times, featuring some light platforming and more, but it becomes clear later on how gimmicky they are.
The fact that they must be completed without dying makes them even more annoying, even though they are not particularly difficult. Bosses are also interesting in the beginning, but much less later on, as they aren't particularly different from anything already seen in the main game, nor much challenging: they're basically the same few ones with added gimmicks like additional attacks, healing and so on. One interesting mechanic, however, is the ability to retry boss battles after having died if in possession of Lucky Coins, which can be found in the preceding mini-stages. Another interesting mechanic is the ability to use modifiers for all Episodes, such as no health regeneration, increased movement speed and so on. There are a couple particularly wacky ones and they add a bit more variety to the DLC's short campaign.
The Good, the Bad, and the Augmented looks just as nice as the main game. The new Wild West themed areas are very nice to look at, combining The Surge's main aesthetics with the new theme. There's very little music, but it's definitely good and appropriate for the setting.
At the end of the day, The Good, the Bad, and the Augmented DLC is a more than decent expansion for The Surge, but it's hardly an essential purchase for all those who played the game. Those who are obsessed with Deck13's game will definitely want to challenge themselves once again, everyone else will probably find very little of value here, as the rewards and new weapons are more useful in New Game Plus than in the first playthrough.
Reviewed on PC. You can get The Surge: The Good, the Bad, and the Augmented expansion for $9.99 via Microsoft Store (Xbox One version).
The Surge: The Good, the Bad, and the Augmented is a decent addition to the overall experience, with some new mechanics, such as the modifiers, which work well. The gimmicky nature of the mini-stages and bosses, and the lack of a proper story, make it a worthy purchase only for die-hard fans of the game.
- Wild West theme
- Interesting modifiers mechanics
- Excellent rewards for the main campaign
- Dr. Rischboter is an entertaining character...
- ...who lacks substance as a villain
- Story is almost non-existent
- Stages and bosses' gimmicks become annoying in later episodes